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Chiddingstone Castle - The Perfect Kent Lit Fest For Bibliophiles of All Ages

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Good afternoon,

As we head towards the first long weekend of 2022 (hoorah!), we're excited to share more news with you about the wonderful Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival, scheduled to take place in the beautiful Kent countryside during the next bank holiday weekend - from 30th April to 3rd May. Tickets are still available to purchase online and we are encouraging visitors to make a day of it, by visiting the castle, bringing a picnic or enjoying some delicious food and drink from the cafe, as well as seeing their favourite authors and illustrators share news about their latest ventures!
Please find the press release below. If you'd like to interview any of the authors/illustrators, or attend the festival, we'd be happy to help.

Helen Lewis
Literally PR 

The Perfect Kent Lit Fest For Bibliophiles of All Ages

Chiddingstone Castle offers a spectacular literary line-up in stunning surroundings - the perfect recipe for a bank holiday weekend to remember!


Press Release: April 2022, Kent, England: Tickets for the eagerly anticipated Chiddingstone Castle LiteraryFestival(Edenbridge, Kent) are selling fast as literary fans relish the idea of getting out into the fresh air and spending a weekend in the company of the likes of Michael Morpurgo, Victoria Hislop, Jane Garvey, Fi Glover, Simon Parker, Justine Picardie, Tom Tugendhat and Iain Dale. The wonderful lit fest is a welcome opportunity to celebrate (hopefully in the sunshine!) with many incredible authors and illustrators in a bank holiday weekend that offers something for bibliophiles of all ages. 


From the opening night VIP drinks reception on Saturday 30thApril to the schools day on Tuesday 3rdMay, internationally acclaimed international and local authors and illustrators will be joined by hundreds of happy guests at the historic and stunning setting of Chiddingstone Castle.


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Festival highlights on Sunday 1stMay:


Literary legendsMichael Morpurgo(‘When Fishes Flew') andVictoria Hislop(‘Maria's Island') will be in conversation with journalistNicolette Jonesabout their latest stories for children, both set on Greek islands during challenging times.


Award-winning author and illustratorRob Biddulphhelped many families get through lockdown with his brilliant #DrawwithRob. Guests will enjoy an hour in the company of Rob (away from the computer screen) and learn about his latest book ‘Draw with Rob: Amazing Animals'. Don't forget to bring your pencils!


Nina Stibbe, one of our most beloved comic writers, hailed as ‘the true heir to Sue Townsend' will talk to her good friend and Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival favourite,Cathy Rentzenbrink, about her latest book ‘One Day I Shall Astonish The World'.


Renowned biographerMiranda Seymourwill talk withJulia Wheelerabout her intimate, surprising and profoundly moving biography of Jean Rhys ‘I Used To Live Here Once', an obsessive and troubled genius, and acclaimed author of Wide Sargasso Sea. 


In this time of constant uncertainty, join BBC radio legendsFi GloverandJane Garvey(‘Did I Say That Out Loud?') to hear the wisdom of two women who haven't got a clue what's going on either. Their hilarious and perceptive podcast Fortunately...with Fi and Jane has grown from a cult following to become one of the nation's most loved and celebrated shows.


Philip Manselis one of Britain's leading historians of France and the Middle East. His recent book King of the World' is the first full biography in English of the great Sun King of France for twenty years, and winner of the Franco-British Society Book Prize. 


Broadcaster, art historian and author of ‘The World According to Colour',Dr James Foxlooks at our relationship with colours and uncovers the meanings we attach to them and the ways they have shaped our culture and imagination, in conversation withJulia Wheeler.


In his new book, ‘Tutankhamun's Trumpet' published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the moment that Howard Carter and Lord Carnavon broke open Tutankhamun's tomb, acclaimed EgyptologistToby Wilkinsontakes a unique approach by examining the objects buried with the king as the source material for a wide-ranging, detailed portrait of ancient Egypt.


Keith Brymer Jonesis the celebrated judge of Channel 4's The Great Pottery Throw Down, but his new book, ‘Boy In A China Shop' is about so much more than pottery. In his memoir he reveals how he went from a North London boyhood to global success; training as a ballet dancer, leading an almost famous rock band and how dyslexia impacted his early years. 


Why do we want to write and what stops us? In her latest book, ‘Write It All Down' bestselling authorCathy Rentzenbrinkshows you how to tackle putting your life on paper, by helping you discover the pleasure and solace found in writing, the satisfaction of wrestling a story onto a page and seeing the events of your life transformed by the experience of writing the self. 


Festival highlights on Monday 2ndMay:


A group of people outside of a buildingDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceRobert Hardman's new biography of Her Majesty, ‘Queen of Our Times', is based on a wealth of exclusive new material and brings us the full story of one of our greatest and best-loved monarchs as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee. In conversation with journalistRowan Pelling, Robert will share new insights from family, friends, staff and world leaders plus unseen photographs and papers, including diaries and letters from the Royal Archives. 


Simon Parker, author of ‘Riding Out' tells Julia Wheeler the remarkable, inspirational true story of how he battled grief and anxiety, one pedal stroke at a time, on a 3,500-mile adventure cycling around Britain in March 2020, as we first entered lockdown.


WriterLulah Ellender(‘Grounding') and landscape designerMarian Boswall(‘Sustainable Garden') both write about the way the land can heal and connect us on all levels and show how a garden can become a safe haven in uncertain times. In conversation with poet and writer Sarah Salway, they will look at what gardens really mean to us.


There's no one better placed to offer real-world solutions to climate change than ‘39 Ways To Save the Planet' authorTom Heap, who is the creator and presenter of BBC Radio 4's flagship climate change podcast 39 Ways, and host of the environment series Costing the Earth.


Justine Picardie's acclaimed biography Miss Dior is a story of freedom and fascism, beauty and betrayal, roses and repression, and how the polished surface of fashion conceals hidden depths. In an illustrated talk, Justine will paint a portrait of the enigmatic woman behind the designer Christian Dior.


Enjoy this opportunity to spend time with one of Britain's best-loved novelists asPatrick Galetalks to his friend and fellow writer Cathy Rentzenbrink about his compelling new book ‘Mother's Boy'.


What happens to animals and plants on the seashore between the tides? In his fascinating new book ‘The Sea Is Not Made Of Water' acclaimed nature writerAdam Nicolsonlooks at one of the most revelatory habitats on earth - the intertidal.


What better time to take a look at the inside track of our political leaders in the US and Britain with the people who know? Join radio presenter and leading political commentatorIain Dalein conversation with our local MPTom Tugendhat, hosted byAndy Bell, political editor of ITN's Five News.



A picture containing grass, outdoor, flower, buildingDescription automatically generatedNOTES TO EDITORS

On Tuesday 3rdMay, the festival organisers have curated a wonderful programme of children's authors and performers specifically for local schools (Reception to Year 7) with tickets currently on sale:


Online Links

To receive updates follow the Festival on Twitter and Instagram @chiddlitfest and their Facebook page Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival.


Festival website:


PR Contacts

For media


Members of the Festival team are available for interviews and media comment.


We are currently booking interviews with selected authors, illustrators and members of the festival